Wednesday, April 20

Dear Random Township Fire Department at FDIC

I enjoy FDIC.


I enjoy the random mix of folks you meet.  For example, I met the Director of Training of the Tokyo Fire Brigade just moments before having a pint with member of FDNY's 27 Truck.  You meet all kinds.

All kinds.

Positive...and the random township firefighters, this year's "bad apples."

I have no idea if you are career or paid, nor do I care, but your attitude needs a serious adjustment.

When a fire service instructor, chosen by FDIC to present their topic, says something your limited experience disagrees with, that is an opportunity for learning, not for walking out.

I'm not going to share specifics, although I could because you were proudly wearing the T-shirt of your company (I wore a collared shirt, but you know, do what feels good I guess).  The instructor made the offensive, at least to you, remark that some fires require a defensive stance.

Observers may have thought that the speaker asked to date your 8 year old sister.

"You don't know shit!" You mumbled in a voice loud enough for the entire room to hear.

Most of the 100-150 folks in attendance were shocked.  You got up and the three of you walked out thinking you were the studs of the pen, marching back to your grand castle of righteousness.  How wrong you were.  Your actions spoke much more than your limited words.  Instead of challenging the instructor on the merits of the point, you decided to show your inexperience and arrogance by walking out after a few mumbled comments about "real firemen" and "aggressive tactics."

I stayed.  I learned.

You left.  You lost.

If you're going to storm out in a huff when a seasoned, experienced and educated instructor challenges your limited experience, just stay at home for conferences.  Or fire calls for that matter.  Don't care if you're career or volunteer.  If the facts challenge your limited experience, perhaps it is your experience that is wrong?  If you disagree with an instructor, you have the following 3 options:

  1. Shut the Fuck up.  Yes, I capitalized Fuck.  Sit there and learn.

  2. Sit through the presentation, take notes and stay after to discuss your issues with the instructor.

  3. Present your own observations for consideration for presentation at FDIC, or any other conference for that matter.

Please note that storming out in a huff is not on that list.  Nor is disrespecting the instructor, audience and Fire Service as a whole by taking this action.  Then again, you won't listen to me, I'm just a Medic.  In addition, I'll likely see you making a fool of yourself on the town tonight, still in your Department's T-shirt, probably telling the bartender that she has a beautiful smile.


Real original.


If you take the time to seek out education, do me a favor:


If you're there for the party, start the day when the rest of us are out of class.


Humbly submitted,

Your Happy Medic

Monday, April 11

the Crossover Show - ep 50 - Revenge of the Vine Stars

crossoverlogo300In episode 1 of our Vine Stars interview we talked with Mike the Cop and Officer Daniels about what it takes to navigate sharing media in the modern age.


HM and MC want to say a big THANK YOU to all of you that have tuned in to check out The Crossover Show…and of course a massive THANK YOU to Mike and Daniels for damn near two hours of their time to come hang out with us.

In the second part of the interview, the guys get into some of the hurdles and negative aspects of being a public figure in the law enforcement social media space. Haters, anyone? Listen in to discover how Mike and Daniels handle the haters.



Tuesday, April 5

Strippers and Cocaine need your help

I few years back I had an interesting call where a stripper was paid in cocaine at a party and, well, things went the way you think they might.

After writing about it my little website landed on the first page on Google for "Strippers and Cocaine."

Mom was so proud.

Then came the movie The Hangover and suddenly I was pushed out of the way like a cocaine hungry stripper at a party at 4am.  However, some recent google searches found me and I'm clawing my way back up.


Would you mind cruising over and clicking on my post so I can get back on the front page?

This is arguably my only claim to fame and I'd hate to have to explain to my grandchildren that I was once on the front page of Google, but then time moved on.

Here's a link to the original story in case you never saw it.

Make them proud?


You can search for "strippers and cocaine" or "cocaine strippers" or "stripper cocaine" or, perhaps if your work computer is blocking the search, "Rob Ford Tuesday Nights."


Too soon?

Saturday, April 2

Educational Standards in EMS

I was in a Facebook back and forth (don't you just love those) with some EMS leaders not long ago and we got onto the topic of higher education in EMS.

"Of course we need to raise the standards, but how do we sell it to the masses who won't get it?"

The conversation wandered through selling higher education to the older, more entrenched folks in EMS and how to grand father them into the new standards.  In other words, we were all discussing how much "street time" would allow someone to still operate at the lower standards.

There were some suggestions as low as 5 years.

I started the conversation at 20 years and there were IMs of "Good luck finding someone who lasted that long!"


Where is the cutoff?  How old do you need to be to let me ignore your excuses of achieving an Associates degree?

Yes, a 2 year program to start is what I'm pushing for.  For EMT-Basics.

"Whoa, Justin.  You don't need an AS to run IFTs." Is a response I got.  No, no you don't but if you want someone who wants to be there and has proven their ability to meet the requirements of the program, won't that improve your product?  And what about an employee who has proven proficiency in writing, speaking, reading, basic sciences?  Aren't they a better match for you?  They make fewer errors and can communicate far better.

Or do you just want a warm body in the seat to meet State and Federal Reimbursement Requirements?


I don't expect me now to go back and get my education at my current point in life.  Asking someone in their 40s to go back to University and earn a BS in Science is a bit of a stretch, but not impossible.  Not any BS, but a BS in the sciences, preferably pre-med.

I am currently considering a Master's program in Homeland Security.  Everytime I discuss advancements in triage and tracking of MCIs, my new favorite hobby, I am met with "What about a terrorist attack?"  So, I'm looking into an education about just that topic.

If I can juggle that program, perhaps my brothers and sisters on the box can fit a part time community college schedule into their lives?

Or is there a deeper fear within us that putting our ranks through school will decrease our ranks?  After all, why put in all this effort, time and money if we can just apply to the Fire Department that barely requires a GED anymore?

Because we're better than that.

EMS is past our middle aged crisis of identity, the wide spread acceptance of Community Programs rooted in EMS structure show us that.  Now how will we repay those who came before us?  By whining in the corner that the burger flippers figured out how to get more pay instead of lobbying for ourselves?  By complaining that 120 hours is enough to be certified to jock a box at age 18 and that higher education is an inconvenience?


Apparently so.

Is asking for an AS degree to be certified EMT by 2020 too much to ask?

Is asking for an AS degree to be certified Paramedic by 2020 too much to ask?

Should an AS in EMS be an Emergency Paramedic and a BS in EMS be a Critical Care Paramedic?

What does a Masters in EMS get me?

What does a PhD in EMS get me?

What does it get US?  Perhaps we've all been asking the wrong question.

So here I sit, watching my little ones, aged 10 and almost 8 run around our house that needs a roof, gutters and a ton of yard work and wondering how I can juggle all this PLUS an advanced degree program.  And I think I have it figured out.


What's your excuse?

Friday, April 1

crossoverlogo300In this week's episode, MC and HM welcome INTERNET SENSATIONS, Mike the Cop and Officer Daniels of Vine fame.


Want to know what inspires them? The guys got you covered.

Want to know how they got started? They spill it for you.

Want to know where they work? Too bad.

Want to know how much Mike loves MC's mom? You'll have to tune into the bonus episode to be aired in a couple of weeks.

This is part one of a two-part interview. Why two parts, you ask? Because once all four of these idiots got to talking, they wouldn't. shut. up. Seriously.

You're gonna love this episode!

No BOLOs this week...instead, check out their Vine pages:

Mike the Cop

Officer Daniels